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How do Devices Become Infected?

In this video, you will learn how devices typically become infected.
In this video, we’re going to talk about how computers can become infected with viruses. So first of all, viruses tend to infect computers and networks during opportune moments. But what does that really mean? Typically, infections will happen during these times– during times of panic, fear is a great motivator. It can easily get people to comply with things that we normally wouldn’t do. Also during times of disaster. Malicious hackers tend to be opportunists, so things like the COVID-19 epidemic that’s happening right now. People are looking for answers and information, so malicious people are going out there and creating fake websites, or maps, or applications. And these applications, and maps, and websites could have contained malicious payloads.
Greed– greed is another motivator that definitely makes us do careless things. So things like the Nigerian scam is still alive and well, where the basic scam is I have a lot of money. I’ll give you money, but you need to pay a little bit to get it released. This seems silly, but it is still definitely being used today, and still working. The scam itself gets modified a little bit here and there, but the overall baseline is still going to be the same– greed. Authority– we tend to do things when it’s requested from someone of authority. It can be law enforcement. It could be our boss, or other forms of authority.
So people that get an email from their boss say, hey, click this link, they’re typically going to comply with that. Curiosity– so people are naturally curious. Find a flash drive on the ground, plug it in. Probably has a malicious payload in there, or definitely could. That goes the same for emails. Emails with links in there, files, “Hey, check out this link”. Forum post, “Hey, take a look at this”. Curiosity can get us in trouble. So we do need to be careful with that. A lot of these viruses use what’s called amygdala hijacking. The amygdala is the part of our brain that keeps us from doing stupid things.
The problem is, with amygdala hijacking, it’s designed to hijack that part of our brain, force us to take action without thinking. That’s why fear, greed, authority, all those things are great ways to hijack your amygdala. So how do you handle that? So the best thing to do is pause and wait, even if it’s for, say, five minutes, 10 minutes. That’s enough time, generally, for you to think things over. First of all, does it make sense? Were you expecting that? Taking pause and thinking about those things can make a great deal… it may be the difference between becoming infected or staying safe. So just take at least five, 10 minutes to think it over.
And if it still makes sense, go ahead and click on it. If it doesn’t make sense or is questionable, then you might want to think about a little bit longer. Even things like the FBI scam, saying you need to take action right now. Things like that– always pause and think, does this make sense? Would this person really send me this email? Try to verify as much as possible. And again, don’t panic. So that was all about viruses. In next video, we’re going to be learning about best practises for antivirus software and malware scanners. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.

In this video, you will learn how devices typically become infected. It is usually during opportune moments, such as times of panic or requests from authority. Hackers also take advantage of human characteristics, such as natural curiosity or greed.

Here are six other ways in which your device can become infected:

  1. Unsolicited emails
  2. Questionable sites
  3. Found media
  4. Unsolicited browser plugin install requests
  5. Questionable downloads
  6. Re-linking

Reflect and share: You have learned that human characteristics, such as curiosity, can be taken advantage of. In what other ways could human characteristics be taken advantage of? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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